The Pokémon GO craze has the capacity to take augmented reality into the mainstream. Born in the 1990s, this Japanese cartoon has staged a comeback that Rocky Balboa would be proud of. It’s a blend of nostalgia and modern-day technology that resulted in upwards of 75 million downloads recently. It took just 19 days to rack up 50 million downloads and it’s catching on fast. Pokémon is but one of many augmented realities hitting the mainstream, and new age technology is providing safe passage. iOS and Android-powered smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous and the augmented reality trend is now a vibrant arena comprising hundreds of millions of people.
U.S. Air Force Introduced the World to Augmented Reality in 2011
AR or augmented reality began in 1990, thanks to the U.S. Air Force. 5 years ago a company by the name of ABI Research concluded that this market would be valued at $3 billion this year. That’s $2.8 billion more than it was worth 6 years ago. This begs the question: what is fuelling the augmented reality surge? First of all, it’s important to understand what this pop frenzy is all about. It is a virtual world juxtaposed over a real-world and it uses technology to take you places. In the case of Pokémon GO, you would use your smartphone and camera and see a digital Pokémon on your screen. The marketing applications of such technology are limitless.
Multiple Practical Applications for Augmented Reality
Consider for example the medical implications of augmented reality. Google Glass is one such technology that doctors are using to access health records of their patients on the go. For example, if you are working in a manufacturing plant, you could see how a machine functions on the inside by using augmented reality. Another novel use of this technology is product design. You would be able to see the final product even before it has been built. For the consumer, there are endless possibilities too. A fantastic feature known as Monocle makes it possible to find restaurants and diners by simply pointing a smartphone in all directions.
How about Augmented Reality for a Virtual Shopping Spree?
For the serious shoppers out there it is now possible to try on sunglasses or reading glasses, even clothing virtually without making a purchase. All you have to do is point your smartphone towards your face. Augmented reality has fast become the most lucrative, practical and exciting technological marvel of modern times. When tech giants like Google failed to impress us with innovative ideas like Google Glass, it takes a Pokémon to reintroduce the world to the incredible possibilities of augmented reality.
In New York City today there are more examples of augmented reality than ever before. LinkNYC comprises networks of mini-towers with high-speed Internet accessibility for the entire city. In fact, these Wi-Fi hotspots are capable of pushing out 1 Gb per second of free Internet to all New Yorkers and visitors. The applications of this technology are limitless, and they include interactive maps, device charging, emergency calling, sensor data and more. The marketing potential of these hyper- targeted mini-towers are boundless. These Internet stations are waiting to tap into a virtual arena of augmented reality opportunities.